A health worker sat outside teaching to a smal group of mothers

The story of Syarifah, health worker at the Suryakanti Foundation

“Parents report that our pupils do well, some even ranking first in their class.”

My name is Syarifah and I am a health cadre in the town of Tanjungsari, located in the city of Sumedang. For more than a decade I have served in Taman Posyandu, a health-post with a playgroup, witnessing how generations of toddlers have come and grown.

Like most women in our village, at first I knew only a little about child development. We believed that children would simply grow naturally. Then, during a health-post training, I joined a session about child development presented by the Suryakanti Foundation. We were taught that to thrive, children need more than just food, clothes, and sleep. We were taught about how we should foster the child’s ability through play and that we must pay attention to any sign of developmental delay, so that we can then stimulate them to catch up.

We are happy to receive reports from parents that our pupils do well. Some of them have ranked first in their class, some have excelled in sports. The important thing is that they all grew into happy, healthy, confident kids. We do this work voluntarily, but having the parents thanking us and seeing the children succeeding in school are simply heart-warming.

We hope that child development training can be held more often, particularly to train new cadres as well as to refresh our own skills. Then we can prove that although the possibilities in rural areas are limited, our village babies can learn and succeed.

Find out more about how Suryakanti Foundation is supporting infants and children at risk of disability in rural Indonesia by reading the factsheet.

A collage of over 30 winner pictures, including persons using electronic deviced, accessible buildings and groups of people enjoying outdoor activities

Announcing the #ZeroCon18 awardees!

We are excited and proud to bring you the Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies 2018. This year, on the topic of “Accessibility”, we bring you 68 Practices and 15 Policies from all around the world, which remove barriers for persons with disabilities. Each year it becomes harder and harder for us and our global network of experts to select the most innovative projects that help persons with disabilities. Unfortunately so many incredible projects did not make this years’ final list, owing to the staggering quality and sheer volume of nominations. It’s deeply encouraging to know that so many amazing projects are going on every single day and we are honoured to welcome these organisations to the 2018 Conference in February. Visit the Practices and Policies pages of the Zero Project website to see each project in detail.

A massive congratulations to:

Access Earth
Access Israel
Accessibility Organization for Afghan Disabled
Action on Disability Rights and Development (ADRAD)
AlManarah Library
APA TopEasy
APSA & Tempe
BarrierBreak – NewzHook
Beit Issie Shapiro – Friendship Park
Central Bank of Ireland
City of Oslo
Corporacion Ciudad Accesible (CCA)
CSF Global – Development Centres
Department of Transport, South Africa
Enable India – Namma Vaani
Europe Without Barriers
European Parliament and Euopean Commission
European Union and U.S. Access Board
Exceptional Lives, Inc.
FENASCOL – “Centro de Relevo”
FKM BKA in Aceh
Fundación ONCE International Contemporary Art Biennale
Fundacion Prodis
Gala Promter – GalaPro
Gallaudet University
Government of the Emirate of Dubai
Inklusion muss laut sein
Institute for Disabilities Research and Training
International Committee of the Red Cross MoveAbility Foundation
International Telecommunication Union and Wayfindr
Jaipur Foot Organization – BMVSS
JKJ SRL and Associazione Disabili Visivi Onlus
Karuna Foundation – Inspire2Care
Lazarillo Tec SPA
Mary Free Bed YMCA
Microsoft Inc. – Office 365
Migdal Or
Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Colombia
Mirairo Inc Bmaps
Mobile & Wireless Forum – GARI
Mobility Mojo
Mopius – MenuSpeak
Municipality of Grenoble
Museum of Modern Art
Open Doors Organization -Open Taxis
Orcam MyEye
ÖZIV – Barrier Check
PADM – Wheelog!
PIKSL Laboratories and E.ON
Planet Abled
Plena Inclusión, Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Asturias and the Government of the Principality of Asturias
Poses Family Foundation – Understood.org
Province of Ontario
Salzburg Museum
Saraki Foundation and USAID
Scandic Hotels
Société Logique
South America For All
Stay Up Late – Gig Buddies
Sub-County of Nabbale, Uganda
Suryakanti Foundation Centre
Telemark’s County Council, County Governor, Road Administration and Trekking Association
The Asian SignBank
The Balkan Museum Access Group
The Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union and ENAT
The Right to Be Heard
UniCredit Bank Austria
UNWTO, Fundación ONCE and ISO
US Department of State
Uva Provincial Council, Sri Lanka
Visit Flanders
World Access for the Blind
World Blind Union and World Intellectial Property Organization
Young Africa
Young Guru Academy

A collage of over 30 winner pictures, including persons using electronic deviced, accessible buildings and groups of people enjoying outdoor activities

#ZeroCon18 awardees announced tomorrow!

Our amazing network have the patience and discipline of saints. After submitting applications back in June and going through a rigorous multi-stage analysis and voting process, they were finally told if they were successful back in October. And then their reward was to stay quiet about it for the next three months! But the wait is almost over – Tomorrow we can finally announce the awardees that we are so proud and humbled to call Zero Project Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies 2018. We cannot wait to hear more from all these incredible projects which you will be able to read about on the website from tomorrow. And if you can’t wait – Check out the picture above. How many can you guess?

A large group-photo at the front stage of the Zero Project conference. People are smiling and waving

One month to go! #ZeroCon18

Has it been a year already!? There is just one month to go until the 2018 Zero Project Conference and behind the scenes it is a hive of activity! There is so much to share with you over the coming weeks. We will be releasing some of the great names who will be presenting at the conference – There are some experienced favourites and also plenty of exciting new blood! We will also begin to get into depth with some of the 2018 awardee projects as we share life stories of those who are benefitting every day from these inspirational projects. Finally, we will tell you how you can follow along and not miss a moment of the action through our conference live stream and social media. Keep up to date with the latest by going to the Conference page using the hashtag across Facebook and Twitter #ZeroCon18!

A black world map against a green Zero Project background with question marks all around the world.

Innovative Practices and Policies 2018 to be announced next week!

Next week we will finally be able to share with you the Zero Project Innovative Practices and Policies for 2018!

This year has been record breaking for many reasons – The highest number of nominations ever, the biggest and widest network of experts ever to vote, and the largest number of countries ever to be involved in the process. All this amazing effort from our friends, partners and our own modest team in Vienna has culminated in a list of 93 exceptional practices and policies.

We’re very excited to share these incredible, inspiring projects with you which span the length and breadth of the globe. From making it easier to get out and about in the Norwegian countryside, to accessing rehabilitation in Togo, and from hopping in a 24/7, 365 accessible taxi in the United States to planning accessible disaster evacuation strategies in Indonesia. Yes, this is indeed a tiny teaser of the projects we’re so proud to share with you, that aim to make the world just that little bit more accessible.

Stay tuned for the full list next week!

Tom Butcher with Maria Martinho

Zero Project Presents at UN DESA

By Tom Butcher, Zero Project representative in the U.S.

The Zero Project was recently asked by Maria Martinho (Secretariat for the CRPD/DSPD/UNDESA) to present at the 5th Expert Group Meeting on Monitoring and Evaluation for Disability-Inclusive Development at the UN in New York. As our representative here, I attended the meeting which took place at the headquarters of UNESCO over two days on December 13th and 14th.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to review the work conducted to date on, and what further needed to be accomplished for, the 2018 UN flagship report on disability and development to be published by its deadline later in 2018. To this end, in a series of sessions, experts presented the inputs received for specific sections of the report (each relating to either one SDG goal or a combination of such goals). These included, for example, the goals covering inclusive and accessible cities/human settlement (SDG 11), poverty and hunger (SDGs 1 and 2) and gender equality and empowerment of women with disabilities (SDG 5).

On the second day of the meeting, following these individual sessions, we, along with two other experts, were asked to make presentations on our “ongoing work on disability”.

Tom Butcher with Maria Martinho at the UN DESA Conference December 2017

The first two presentations came from Nancy Bolt of the International Federation of Library Associations, who talked about international library policies and procedures for people with disabilities and the SDGs, and Willetta Waisath from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, who talked about building and using global law and policy data to monitor and advance rights and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
I, then, gave a very brief presentation about our work, in general, covering social indicators and innovative policies and, much more specifically, about what we had discovered to be the important elements that had contributed to the success of the 11 innovative policies selected for inclusion in the 2017 Zero Project Report on Employment.
The two days were both most interesting and constructive, and it was an honour for us to be included in such august company. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my time at the UN was both catching up with so many of our old friends who were there and introducing our work to people who had never heard of us.
Thank you, Maria!



Institut für Inklusive Bildung gGmbH wins prize for Social Entrepreneurship

The Institut für Inklusive Bildung (Institute for Inclusive Education) has won the Special Prize for Social Entrepreneurship at the 2017 KfW awards in Germany. The award ceremony took place at Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin, where The Institute was awarded for their work on training persons with disabilities as education specialists in Universities. This is the same project that was awarded as a 2017 Zero Project Innovative Practice on Education. We want to say a massive congratulations for winning this great award and hope to continue hearing more about their successes in the future!

You can read more about their award by visiting the KfW website.


Can you help the Zero Project with a collaborative accessible art project?

It may only be October, but it already feels like the Zero Project Conference is bearing down on us! We are well underway with preparations and are very excited with the sessions that are in the pipeline. However as always, we only provide the stage, but it is YOU that provides the innovation, the fun, the excitement!

We are considering ways that all participants can collaborate to create a memorable piece of art – An interactive, accessible project that everyone can contribute to at the conference. And we need your help! If you or your organisation currently has expertise and knowledge in exciting accessible artistic creations we want to hear from you! We want to hear of projects and programmes that include persons with different disabilities to create something unique and memorable.

Please get in touch at office@zeroproject.org if you can contribute ideas, or if you know any organisations that could contribute to this venture.


Conference 2018 – Ideas needed for presenting a virtual accessible village

It is less than 4 months until the Zero Project Conference 2018! Amongst the many exciting sessions in development, we are planning a session to showcase an “accessible village”. We will bring together around 10 to 15 projects such as accessible banks, parks, public buildings, hotels and more, that we want to present as a virtual accessible village.

And this is where we need your help! We plan to showcase the village through a visualisation, involving graphics, sound and accessible features and we are looking for people or organizations who could provide these features. It could be in the form of a virtual video-game style navigation through the village, or involve presentation of the village through 3-D computer graphics. So please get thinking and get in touch!

Please contact us at office@zeroproject.org if you can provide us some ideas, your services, or if you can put us in touch with someone who can!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Some Highlights from our employment supplement

A little reminder that our employment supplement in Die Presse is still available for download from the Zero Project home page. Here is a little teaser for what’s inside:

  • Read about Sreco Dolanc, the deaf pharmacist who graduated from a non-accessible university and go on to work in ‘Marienapotheke’, and becoming well known in the Viennese deaf community
  • Find out about the OrCam MyEye glasses which can read text and recognise faces for persons with visual impairments.
  • Browse 43 models fro employment of persons with disabilities across Austria.
  • Find out about the wider Zero Project “Unternehmensdialoge”, bringing together companies and authorities to motivate employment of persons with disabilities.

Remember though, that the supplement is only available in German.